Those pesky Templar treasure seekers

Shane, Daniel L dshane at
Wed Dec 15 14:41:31 CET 2004


> As much as I like Don Rosa, knowing the way Hollywood thinks, 
> I would propose that it's much more likely that "National 
> Treasure" was inspired by the enormous popularity of "The 
> DaVinci Code" novel. 


According to Roger Ebert's Movie Answer Man column this doesn't appear
to be the case:

*** From the November 28, 2004 column ***

Q. You imply in your review of "National Treasure" that it was a ripoff
of The Da Vinci Code. But "National Treasure" has been in development
since 1999, a good four years before Brown's book was published. So what
is the true ripoff?

Jack Brown, Grand Rapids, Mich.

A. Stories with similar themes often come up simultaneously in
Hollywood, although by the time "National Treasure" was finally filming
The Da Vinci Code was certainly a best-seller. Mainstream historians
agree that both stories are balderdash, but I have received more than
200 emails accounting for the differences between the two movies, most
of them convinced that one or the other, or both, are based on truth.

For example, Carmen M. Rodero-Scardelis of Redmond, Wash., whose husband
is a 32nd degree Master Mason, writes: "There have to be similarities
between The Da Vinci Code and 'National Treasure,' as both of them are
based on Freemason stories and the Knights Templar, whose stories are

She recommends two books to me and continues, "There are many versions
of what the treasure was. The one that Dan Brown mentions is about Mary
Magdalene carrying Jesus' blood line and his descendents forming one of
the royal lines of Europe. A totally different involves the physical
treasures as mentioned in the 'National Treasure' movie, and perhaps the
most credible one is that the Knights Templar found some secret under
King Solomon's temple and used it to blackmail the Catholic Church for
many centuries, becoming the second richest organization in the world
until they were successfully persecuted by king and pope in the 1300s.

"It appears that you are taking Brown's book as an invention of his
imagination, when in reality, it is based on one of the theories about
the Knights Templar -- a completely different one than 'National
Treasure' is based on." 

*** End of quote ***

So it appears that Don's LETTER FROM HOME tale, NATIONAL TREASURE, THE
DaVINCI CODE, Kipling's THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING, and countless other
fictional accounts of Masonic and Templar treasure hunts have a common
bond, but none of them are consciously borrowing from each other.
They're all simply capitalizing on popular legends that are at least
many decades (if not centuries) old.


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